MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WFLA) – This week marked the statistical peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, and the tropics are very active.
The National Hurricane Center is currently monitoring six systems in the Atlantic basin. Two tropical storms – Paulette and Rene – could strengthen to become hurricanes but neither is expected to impact the United States. There are also several areas of low pressure and tropical waves that forecasters are keeping an eye on – including one that could soak parts of Florida in the coming days.
Here’s what we’re tracking in the tropics:
Tropical Depression 19
Tropical Depression 19 has officially formed in the Atlantic.
According to the National Hurricane Center, the new depression is expected to move over the northwestern and central Bahamas and over South Florida early on Saturday while moving into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico late Saturday.
The depression could become a tropical storm before moving across south Florida overnight and is expected to become a tropical storm on Sunday and gradually intensify through Monday.
The system is expected to bring heavy rainfall over parts of the Bahamas, South Florida and the Florida Keys over the coming days.
A Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect for
- South of Jupiter Inlet to north of Ocean Reef
Tropical Storm Paulette
Tropical Storm Paulette formed Monday over the central tropical Atlantic and is forecast to become a hurricane Saturday.
While Paulette is not expected to reach the United States, swells generated by the storm are forecast to impact the Greater Antilles, Bahamas, Bermuda and the southeastern United States into this weekend. The NHC warns the swells will likely cause “life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.”
At 5 p.m. Friday, Paulette had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. It was about 750 miles east-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands and moving northwest at about 13 mph.
Paulette is expected to approach Bermuda Sunday night or Monday morning.
Tropical Storm Rene
Rene initially strengthened to a tropical storm on Monday then weakened to become a depression again early Wednesday morning. But just a few hours later, the NHC said the system had restrengthened to become Tropical Storm Rene again.
Rene has remained at 40 mph maximum sustained winds at 5 p.m. ET
The storm is about 1,165 miles west-northwest of the Cabo Verde Islands and moving west-northwest at 14 mph.
The NHC says the storm is expected to continue in that direction for the next day before turning to the northwest on Saturday.
Areas of low pressure
In addition to the two tropical storms and the depression, there are is also another area of low pressure being monitored that could potentially develop.
A second area of low pressure over the north-central Gulf of Mexico has a lower chance of formation.
According to the NHC, some slow development of the system is possible as it moves over the northern and western Gulf through next week. The latest forecast from the NHC says there’s a low 10 percent chance of formation through 48 hours and a low 30 percent chance of formation through five days.
The NHC is also tracking two tropical waves moving off the coast of Africa.
The first is a few hundred miles south of the Cabo Verde Islands and is producing a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms. Forecasters say a tropical depression is likely to form in the next few days as the system moves west over the Atlantic.
The wave has a high 70 percent chance of formation in the next 48 hours and a high 90 percent chance of formation in the next five days.
The second tropical wave started moving off the coast of Africa Friday. NHC forecasters believe the environmental conditions will be favorable for development. A tropical depression could form over the far eastern tropical Atlantic early next week as the system moves west slowly.
The NHC says there’s a low 10 percent chance that wave develops in the next 48 hours and a medium 40 percent development chance in the next five days.